Even if your spouse says it as gently as possible, the announcement that he or she is seeking a divorce can be devastating. It is likely that this is not a new idea to your spouse, who may have been planning for months or even years to make a change. Unfortunately, you may not have the advantage of months or years to adjust to the idea.

If divorce is not on your agenda, you may feel desperate to keep your spouse in your life, and this often leads to making rash and unwise decisions. If you think there is a chance you could win your spouse back before the divorce process is complete, there are definite actions you want to avoid. Additionally, you would be wise to remain clear-thinking and realistic about the possibility that divorce may be unavoidable.

Take the high road

The last thing a partner may want after announcing his or her intentions to divorce is for the other spouse to try manipulation tactics. This may include overly emotional scenes, misbehavior, efforts to make one’s spouse jealous or leaving relationship self-help books all around the house. Calling or texting your spouse constantly or buying excessive gifts is not usually successful when someone has decided to end a marriage.

Instead, you may have more success if you remain at your best. Taking care of yourself, making plans to better yourself and allowing your spouse some space may have surprisingly good results. If not, you may find that these and other actions will improve your outlook for your future, should your spouse decide to go through with the divorce. You would be wise to keep busy, stay healthy and project an image of self-confidence, but reaching out for counseling may not be a bad idea either.

Facing the facts

The brutal truth is that even these positive steps may not save your marriage. Therefore, you will not want to be caught off guard with no plan for your future or protections for your rights.

Even if you have no desire to divorce, as soon as possible after your spouse informs you of his or her intentions, it is smart to have a legal advocate on your side who may help you understand the process ahead of you and the options available. This may reduce the chances that you will struggle financially after the divorce. An attorney can answer your questions, explain Pennsylvania’s divorce laws and be your ally through negotiations or litigation.